What is Scottish Country Dancing?

Scottish Country Dancing (SCD) is the social form of dancing in Scotland. Scottish Country Dancing is not Highland Dancing, which is more individual with high, showy steps.

Participants are grouped into sets, typically 3, 4 or 5 couples arranged in either two lines or a square. There are 5 basic steps and these steps are used in a variety of formations. Each couple in the set work together to dance a sequence of formations. This will leave them in a new position and the dance is repeated enough times to bring everyone back to their starting positions. There are 3 rhythms in SCD, the faster jigs and reels and the slower, more graceful strathspey. The different formations can be arranged in many combinations leading to an almost endless number of dances.

SCD is very sociable. It is common practice to dance with different partners during a night of dancing. It is also great fun and exercises both mind and body. Anyone who wants to dance is very welcome. SCD also has world-wide connections. The Royal Scottish Country Dance Society, based in Scotland, has affiliated groups and branches around the world where international visitors are always welcomed.

An example of a SCD can be seen in the video below. Additional video examples of SCD can be found here.